No other game has you playing for so long and still feeling like you´re only at the beginning of the game – that´s the quint essence of Monster Hunter Tri. After almost 80 hours of hunting, I am used to many monsters´ fighting-style. I know how to move according to their moves. I don´t forget to bring a basic equipment to each quest. And my armor and weapon is better. But it feels as if the real challenges are only coming now. And oh boy, they ARE challenging.
Offline-mode is where I rest, where I think about what I want to do next. I have to kill Lagiacrus, the cover art-monster. It wouldn´t be my first Lagiacrus, I killed several online, and the offline-versions of monsters are a lot easier to defeat. But I left that quest be and chose to spend my time online. And it was a great time. Only recently did I start to kill Rathalos – the definitive air dragon monster. My former armor, the Ludroth-armor, was really weak against this tough guy. He´d stop me with one of his monstrous screams, and if I was unlucky – which I was several times – he´d charge at me before I could move out of the way and one-hit-ko´ed me. Very frustrating, but maybe a sign that I simply had no choice but to get better armor. That really happened after I tried Uragaan. Haha, no chance. I attempted him with two guys from my friendlist, but after dying twice I wrote them “can you make it or is it okay to fail?”, and they answered “just fail”. Ha, that´s both nice and mean at the same time. But thanks to this attempt I´ve now made up my mind to create myself a full set of Rathalos-armor, and I already have one piece.
Finding random players to do mission in the Hunter Rank 23-range where I´m at proved to be difficult. Either I find complete beginners with a low rank, or complete experters with HR30 or higher. But somehow I always find some, and the friends I made early in the game keep returning for doing some quests. Today, I helped a friend that was HR5 to reach HR8. Did some Royal Ludroths and I have to admit, it was great fun to return to these early quests. That Royal Ludroth couldn´t stay alive much longer than two minutes with all of use slashing into his enormous body. Not even mentioning how fast his tail fell off. And when I played offline a little later, I randomly killed a Great Jaggi and Rathian while running around in Moga Forest – and it felt great to dominate these former boss-monsters just like that, just because I was in the mood to hunt them, not because of some mission I had to do.
All these near 80 hours I played as a sword and shield-user. But just from watching other players I realize how very different the other weapons are. And it makes me, once again, realize how little I have seen of this truly magnificent game. The Great Sword with it´s power, but slow slashes. The long sword that´s faster, but still limits your movement. The lance that is best used in close-combat. The hammer that cannot cut but is great for damaging monsters´ heads. And the morph-axe that I have no idea about. And then there´s the bow-gun that completely changes everything. That is the kind of expansive content that Monster Hunter Tri offers.
My current goals are to defeat a Barioth and to master fighting Diablos. While the former is a real hassle to fight, fast, strong and never standing still, the latter has got the most terrifying scream of all monsters I met so far. But now that I have my new piece of armor I feel more confident. And I know, one day he won´t stand a chance against me anymore – and I´ll have to overcome the overwhelming power of another monster.